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Thread: Trotec Speedy 300 (80w) or Epilog Fusion (32x20 - 75w)

  1. #1

    Cool Trotec Speedy 300 (80w) or Epilog Fusion (32x20 - 75w)

    Decisions, Decisions.

    Howdy Sawmill Creek Community,

    I'm about a month away from putting the deposit down on a C02 Laser and I've decided that I'm going to be choosing between the Speedy 300 (80w) or the Epilog Fusion (32x20 75w Model). I don't care to bother with a Chinese laser system. Sure there is value in them and they serve their purpose but it's not for me. There are other laser systems that I could explore but I simply just chose not to. It's a pretty tough call between Trotec and Epilog. I keep going back and forth and I'm stuck. Each have their advantages. I have been scouring the forums for months now and one thing I often see is (what will you be using the laser for) so, I will be mostly be working with leather, acrylic, wood, etc. I have been trained on an epilog helix 60 w (my brothers) and I've come to love Epilog. I am aware there will be a learning curve with trotec.

    Trotec VS Epilog


    • 140 ips (Raster time is blazing fast) vs Epilog 100 ips? (I believe...)
    • 1000 dpi vs. 1200 dpi (but how often would you run something at 1200 dpi honestly?)
    • 29x17 work area (kind of awkward) vs. 32x20 (just sounds nice doesn't it?)
    • Option to upgrade a second laser source with a fiber laser (additional $30,000 roughly, depending on wattage of course) vs. No Option
    • New Ceramic Core vs. Not Ceramic
    • 7.9 Z depth vs. compared to 14.25 Z depth on Epilog Fusion
    • Sealed vs. not sealed (less cleaning?)
    • No lighting vs. new Epilog Fusion double sided lighting
    • one air vent vs. Epilog's double venting system (front and back)
    • Proven job control on the trotec vs. Epilog's more recent job control which has only been around for 2 years or so
    • Medical grade air compressor built into the machine vs. epilog must be outside the laser (Quieter inside?)
    • No USB/wifi/ethernet/mac driver compatibility vs. yes to all 3 on the epilog (worth mentioning I have a couple MAC computers)


    There are so many things to touch upon but as an initial opener I figure this could be enough to get the conversation started. What are your thoughts? CC: Scott Shepard I know if you had to buy another laser tmw it would be a trotec hands down, what do you think good sir?
    Assume you could get both of these machines with (vector grid, blower, vacuum table, air assist/compressor/ rotary) for 30k each. I know people don't tend to talk specific numbers on the forum and I get that, but honestly thats what it boils down to is 30K either way I lean.

  2. #2
    Have you been and seen both machines up close and working?
    We went to see a Trotec Speedy 300 and an Epilog working and for us the Trotec just seemed a far greater piece of kit. It all just felt better made and the Trotec guys just told us about all the stuff the Trotec could do, where as the Epilog guy was trying to say negative things abotu Trotec rather that saying how good the Epilog was.

    We ended up with the Trotec Speedy 300 80W and think it's brilliant!

    I think (I could be wrong) that it's widely thought that Trotec are better so if you have a Trotec & an Epilog at the very same price point for the same sort of spec machine I can't see any reason not to buy the Trotec (unless you are in need to the z axis going much further down?).
    Trotec Speedy 300 80W

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Just a small correction, my speedy 300 has lighting in the work cabinet as standard.

    Certainly as a UK buyer I felt the Trotec support was far better and must agree with Mark about Epilog guy knocking Trotec.
    Trotec Speedy 300 50W
    Gantry CNC Router/Engraver
    Various softwares
    Always keen to try something new

    Please don't steal - the government hates competition

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    My comments in red...

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Root View Post
    Trotec VS Epilog


    • 140 ips (Raster time is blazing fast) vs Epilog 100 ips? (I believe...)
    • If you do raster engraving (images), this difference is HUGE!
    • 1000 dpi vs. 1200 dpi (but how often would you run something at 1200 dpi honestly?)
    • If you want deeper engraving, higher DPI can often help... but then again, you can slow the machine down a bit to get the same effect. Unless the vast majority of your work is deep engraving, I would let the extra 200dpi be a big deal (and it's not like the typical lens you'll work with is capable of that resolution anyway).
    • 29x17 work area (kind of awkward) vs. 32x20 (just sounds nice doesn't it?)
    • Meh... a slightly larger work area is nice, and I would lean slightly towards the Epi if it came only to that point... but how often do you expect on jobs that big showing up?
    • Option to upgrade a second laser source with a fiber laser (additional $30,000 roughly, depending on wattage of course) vs. No Option
    • I considered this early on and determined it to be "no cause for concern" (for me, at least). When it comes to the point of needing a fiber machine, you will likely want the benefit of two separate systems. I would only suggest a combo if you are REALLY tight on space (which I am, though I'll forego some free room for two separate machines), or you do not expect to keep the machine busy with one type of product or another (CO2 versus fiber products). Plus, there are some downsides to fiber processing with a flatbed compared to a galvo, such as speed.
    • New Ceramic Core vs. Not Ceramic
    • The ceramic core sounds great, if we are to believe the literature. They haven't been out long enough to provide real-world evidence of their benefits to the average user, but with a cost difference that's minimal, I'd say it's cheap insurance if nothing else is swaying you.
    • 7.9 Z depth vs. compared to 14.25 Z depth on Epilog Fusion
    • The extra depth is really nice, and there were times when I could have used it... but again, it comes back to the question of "how often do you expect those types of jobs to come into the shop?"
    • Sealed vs. not sealed (less cleaning?)
    • The sealed part is definitely nice, but it's not a dealbreaker for me.
    • No lighting vs. new Epilog Fusion double sided lighting
    • Both have lighting, so apples to apples there.
    • one air vent vs. Epilog's double venting system (front and back)
    • Irrelevant. If they both remove the smoke, that's all that matters.
    • Proven job control on the trotec vs. Epilog's more recent job control which has only been around for 2 years or so
    • This will be a very personal decision based upon your workflow. The Trotec JC requires some changes in how you think (not radical), but it can stump you for a few until you get used to it. I'm not familiar with Epi's JC, but I liked the simplicity and ease of use of ULS's.
    • Medical grade air compressor built into the machine vs. epilog must be outside the laser (Quieter inside?)
    • If you get a quality compressor (such as that used in good nail salons), they will both be ultra-quiet.
    • No USB/wifi/ethernet/mac driver compatibility vs. yes to all 3 on the epilog (worth mentioning I have a couple MAC computers)
    • I'm a Windows guy, so this doesn't bother me, but as a Mac guy it could be a dealbreaker if you can't get yourself away from using one. Ethernet really only has the advantage over USB if you're doing remote machining... most materials we use are not safe to work with on a remote machine, nor do we have automated loading systems (so someone has to be there anyway). Wifi's lack of wires can be nice, but its remote capabilities are in the same category as Ethernet... non-existent for most.


    If your work is mostly cutting of large items, then the overall speeds of both machines are going to be pretty close (I'd give the benefit to the Epi for the larger bed). If the cutting is very fine detail work with a lot of movement between cuts, the Trotec is going to show an advantage. If you're doing even a modicum of engraving work, the speed advantage of the Trotec will likely overpower any benefit the Epi might show elsewhere.
    Hi-Tec Designs, LLC -- Owner (and self-proclaimed LED guru )

    Trotec 80W Speedy 300 laser w/everything
    CAMaster Stinger CNC (25" x 36" x 5")
    USCutter 24" LaserPoint Vinyl Cutter
    Jet JWBS-18QT-3 18", 3HP bandsaw
    Robust Beauty 25"x52" wood lathe w/everything
    Jet BD-920W 9"x20" metal lathe
    Delta 18-900L 18" drill press

    Flame Polisher (ooooh, FIRE!)
    Freeware: InkScape, Paint.NET, DoubleCAD XT
    Paidware: Wacom Intuos4 (Large), CorelDRAW X5

  5. #5
    Hi Matt, my advice is to have as clear an idea of what you intend to use the machine for and have a demonstration of each based around your specific needs. $30K is a lot of money to spend on the wrong machine for your purposes. I applaud your decision to go for one of the established brands as I believe you will encounter fewer problems and get better value for money, the issue for you is find out how much of the sales pitch is relevant and which machine features will be the most useful to you personally.

    Historically, because it's a highly competitive market for the main manufacturers, some features were designed in to make the machines appear to have an edge over the competition. In practice, an inch or so in work area is probably not going to make much difference. It's a useful sales tool. It's for you to decide if you are actually going to need it or not. The same goes for the depth of travel in the Z-axis. Do you actually need it? Why would it be an advantage to have it?

    The issue of engraving resolution in my opinion, is a red herring. Unless the manufacturer has a lens that can resolve to a small enough spot size to make use of the higher resolution, it's a pointless irrelevancy and one introduced to make the machine appear to be better on paper.

    Do you think you will need a fiber laser at some point, and will it be worth the extra $30K for you to have it? If you do, keep it on your list. If you don't, discard it.

    It's interesting that you are wary of Epilog's two-year old job control system but not of the reliability of Trotec's ceramic core laser which is newer, and potentially more of a headache if it goes wrong. Software is always being updated and improved and shouldn't cost you anything to take advantage of. See which one you find the most straight forward to use for your specific needs.

    Try to find out what you can about the supplier. How long have they been selling the machines, how viable a company they are and what their staff turnover is like. Technical expertise takes time to learn. Good support when you need it is worth its weight in gold. Find out what the warranty entails i.e. whether labour cost is included and if not, what the servicing rates are going to be.

    Compare the cost of replacement tubes, lenses and so on and try to tie the dealer down over turnaround times. You don't want your machine to have a long downtime for want of a replacement part.

    As for MAC compatibility, I'd be very wary of any claims that salesmen make in this regard. If you can, get them to demonstrate it before taking it as read.

  6. #6
    I'm not really sure how to answer your question. It's a personal preference at this point in time. There are differences between the two machines. Not much major, other than the speed of raster engraving. The rest of the differences are things you could live with in either direction, I'd guess. The Fusion, to me, looks like they studied the Trotec and adapted a lot of things Trotec has been doing for years. For instance, the Helix has a thin, 1/4" belt driving things (I think that's right), and the Speedy's have a 1" wide belt and have for years. The Fusion now has a 1" belt driving their motion systems. The Trotec has job control, programmable Z, etc, and the next software for the Fusion has some form of a job control system. It's not fully developed yet, but Epilog is aggressively working on it and releasing updates often, which incorporate new and more features. So they are getting there. I suspect 12-18 months from now, the Fusion software is going to be dialed in pretty good.

    I know people that are completely happy with both machines and I suspect you'd be happy with either machine. Both will do what you want. If the details matter, then you might dig a little deeper to see the minor differences and see if they change your mind one way or the other, if not, then it's just a personal preference.

    I say we'd buy another Speedy because speed does matter to us. While we do a lot of single piece jobs, we also get jobs that have gone into the 20,000 piece range, so in those cases, speed and quality is everything to us, which is why we'd go that route again.

    I don't have anything negative to say about the Fusion, it's a beast of a machine and makes the Helix look like a toy. Both companies will send you parts the next day for any issues.
    Lasers : Trotec Speedy 300 75W, Trotec Speedy 300 80W, Galvo Fiber Laser 20W
    Printers : Mimaki UJF-6042 UV Flatbed Printer , HP Designjet L26500 61" Wide Format Latex Printer, Summa S140-T 48" Vinyl Plotter
    Router : ShopBot 48" x 96" CNC Router Rotary Engravers : (2) Xenetech XOT 16 x 25 Rotary Engravers

    Real name Steve but that name was taken on the forum. Used Middle name. Call me Steve or Scott, doesn't matter.

  7. #7
    Regarding sealing, Dan says it's not a deal breaker. The OP says he expects to do mostly leather, acrylic and wood. Those are pretty big producers of smoke and particulates, and that leads to dirty optics no matter how good most people's extraction systems are, so more cleaning is required. I may clean my final lens every hour or two with particularly smokey birch but only every few days when working only with steel and aluminum, so the sealing feature of the Trotec, while not a deal breaker, could be a deal maker.

    Regarding Dan's last point about computer interfaces:
    Wifi's lack of wires can be nice, but its remote capabilities are in the same category as Ethernet... non-existent for most.

    I think he meant "same category as USB... non-existent"
    Last edited by Glen Monaghan; 06-29-2014 at 10:00 AM.

  8. #8
    It's been many years since I used an Epilog so I can offer no comparison of value but I've had my Trotec for 8 years this month with only one day of down time. It's rugged, reliable and fast. It is by far the easiest machine on the market to keep clean. I'm still using my original lens and mirrors.

    The z movement on the Epilog could have come in handy a few times but not a lot.

    The 4" exhaust adequately evacuates smoke and odor. I do plastics and wood.

    There is a USB interface on my Trotec.

    It is a rare occasion when I use 1000 dpi and then it is only to intensify the heat not for engraving quality.

    A substantial amount of my engraving is at 330 dpi.
    Last edited by Mike Null; 06-29-2014 at 10:08 AM.
    Mike Null

    St. Louis Laser, Inc.

    Trotec Speedy 300, 80 watt
    Woodworking shop CLTT and Laser Sublimation
    Evolis Card Printer
    CorelDraw X5

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Glen Monaghan View Post
    Regarding sealing, Dan says it's not a deal breaker. The OP says he expects to do mostly leather, acrylic and wood. Those are pretty big producers of smoke and particulates, and that leads to dirty optics no matter how good most people's extraction systems are, so more cleaning is required. I may clean my final lens every hour or two with particularly smokey birch but only every few days when working only with steel and aluminum, so the sealing feature of the Trotec, while not a deal breaker, could be a deal maker.

    It sounds like good sense to have enclosed optics, but I've never been 100% certain about this. It would be best if Epilog users offer their comments about the frequency the optics need cleaning or have been damaged. One thing that occurs to me is that it's easier to see when exposed optics are dirty. There are a number of times I've taken calls from customers asking why their machines aren't cutting properly and the first question I asked was what condition are the optics in. Sometimes people were shocked to find they had burned out and cracked lenses. Having them enclosed is no guarantee they won't get contaminated. Out of sight is often out of mind.

    I've known lots of customers who like Mike, have never needed to replace a lens, but others who seem to regard it as one of the liabilities of owning one of these machines. This is especially the case where machines are used by lots of different people with no individual taking responsibility for maintenance. It isn't uncommon in some circumstances for the individuals who were initially trained to use and maintain the machine to move on and it's assumed it's obvious to their replacements what needs to be done to keep the machine running properly. Almost inevitable that schools and universities will call up from time to time with this issue. On more than one occasion, people who called me were entirely unaware the machine had a lens at all, which might seem bizarre to most on this forum, but believe me it happens.

    Since it's been one of the issues that is often raised by Epilog competitors, the question needs to be asked is why it hasn't been addressed after all these years. Is it an issue or not? I suspect that only Epilog users can usefully answer this.

    Having optics protection by pressurising the enclosures sounds sensible but it does require the user to remember to turn on the air supply, otherwise it doesn't work and can actually lead to lens damage. I can't speak for the Trotec, but a useful feature ULS introduced was the ability to configure the driver to check for the presence of air before allowing a file to run. Where systems are installed with a filtration system that has an integral compressor, this also means that the machine can't be used unless the extraction is running as well.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    I'd say from my experience that the "open" optics of the Epilog is no problem at all.
    10 years + and the lens looks good as new.
    The turning mirror above the lens has some very fine marks from cleaning, but these do not appear to affect the machine's operation.
    It is easy to spot when the lens does need to be cleaned (which isn't very often unless I'm doing filthy things like thick PU foam or ply).

    I would love the extra speed of a Trotec, but could not manage with a bed size smaller than 32x20" as I would have to turn away a lot of well-paying jobs - you can charge more for big things!.
    Epilog Legend 32EX 60W

    Precision Prototypes, Romsey, UK

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glen Monaghan View Post
    Regarding Dan's last point about computer interfaces:
    Wifi's lack of wires can be nice, but its remote capabilities are in the same category as Ethernet... non-existent for most.

    I think he meant "same category as USB... non-existent"
    No, I meant what I wrote. WiFi allows for a great distance between the controller and the laser (same as Ethernet), but that's not an advantage for the same reason Ethernet doesn't have one... distance between the operator and machine doesn't make sense in an environment where things can easily catch fire and you need to swap materials continually. It can have a minor advantage of reducing wire count when you have an odd-sized shop, for example, but even then a USB cable can be had in a long enough length to solve that issue.
    Hi-Tec Designs, LLC -- Owner (and self-proclaimed LED guru )

    Trotec 80W Speedy 300 laser w/everything
    CAMaster Stinger CNC (25" x 36" x 5")
    USCutter 24" LaserPoint Vinyl Cutter
    Jet JWBS-18QT-3 18", 3HP bandsaw
    Robust Beauty 25"x52" wood lathe w/everything
    Jet BD-920W 9"x20" metal lathe
    Delta 18-900L 18" drill press

    Flame Polisher (ooooh, FIRE!)
    Freeware: InkScape, Paint.NET, DoubleCAD XT
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  12. #12
    Hmm, then I don't see the point of trying to distinguish among the three. A single USB2 connection isn't supposed to exceed 5 meters, or 30 meters with active extensions. Cat 5 or 6 ethernet can reach 100 meters, and wifi can be anywhere on the map depending on the router, antennae, and environment, but often is closer to USB active extenstion distances than ethernet distances in buildings. But, regardless of connection distances, all can reach farther than it is wise to be away from your laser when it's cutting flammable materials so, as I understand your clarification, not one of the three has "remote capabilities" for most.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glen Monaghan View Post
    not one of the three has "remote capabilities" for most.
    That's pretty much it in a nutshell. I know some Epi users switch from Ethernet to USB (or vice versa) because one doesn't work for them (for whatever reason), but that's a failing in the hardware/software, not an advantage. For 99% of the population, the multitude of interfaces should be looked at simply as conveniences in connection type, not a nod to remote operation.
    Hi-Tec Designs, LLC -- Owner (and self-proclaimed LED guru )

    Trotec 80W Speedy 300 laser w/everything
    CAMaster Stinger CNC (25" x 36" x 5")
    USCutter 24" LaserPoint Vinyl Cutter
    Jet JWBS-18QT-3 18", 3HP bandsaw
    Robust Beauty 25"x52" wood lathe w/everything
    Jet BD-920W 9"x20" metal lathe
    Delta 18-900L 18" drill press

    Flame Polisher (ooooh, FIRE!)
    Freeware: InkScape, Paint.NET, DoubleCAD XT
    Paidware: Wacom Intuos4 (Large), CorelDRAW X5

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Hintz View Post
    That's pretty much it in a nutshell. I know some Epi users switch from Ethernet to USB (or vice versa) because one doesn't work for them (for whatever reason), but that's a failing in the hardware/software, not an advantage. For 99% of the population, the multitude of interfaces should be looked at simply as conveniences in connection type, not a nod to remote operation.
    I'll add to this that I've sometimes needed to intervene when people have ambitions to run a laser as a network printer. It seems the obvious thing for an IT expert to do, believing that a designer in another building can send files directly to the machine without realising they go the the head of the print queue and it's possible to start the machine remotely if he does that.

  15. #15
    I have had a lot of issues which any machine owner face like alignment, software update, tube, optics... Etc., goes on. But there comes excellent tech support to rescue us. I firmly advice to look into this
    I think epilog has been doing excellent job

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